How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America
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How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  464 ratings  ·  60 reviews
With a new preface by the author. In the tradition of Backlash and The Morning After, and in a political climate where Roe v. Wade is in serious jeopardy, a young activist reveals that the Pro-Life Movement’s real agenda is a war on contraception, family planning, and sexual freedom.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Basic Books (first published January 30th 2006)
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meredith ann
this book made me really angry. like gripping the book so hard that my knuckles turned red angry. so i think page accomplished her goal. it's a look at the measures that the anti-choice movement goes to to prevent access to contraceptives. of course, there is a talk on abortion but it's main focus is birth control (including emergency contraceptive) and condoms.

i was shocked and appalled at sheer power these groups have and the lengths they go to to keep women from making choices about their ow...more
Sarah Dzurkovich
This book proves to me that even though I know a lot about the feminist movement, there is always more to learn. This book discusses the hidden agenda behind major pro-life organizations and that their main purpose isn't necessarily to stop abortions. Pro-lifers want to consider contraceptives as abortion and also want contraceptives outlawed in addition to abortion DESPITE the fact that contraceptives help prevent abortions. The fact is that with the legalization of birth control, women gained...more
Amazing for the amount of research (pp 169-211 are citations)packed into a rather brief book. The author presents a compelling case for her viewpoint (which is clearly pro-choice) without any preachy diatribes.

I guess I had no idea how far reaching George W. Bush's political appointments extend. This book not only warns of the possibility of a future in which Roe v. Wade is overturned and ALL forms of contraception (yes kids, even the condom) are pulled from the market, it also explains how this...more
Jun 07, 2007 Adriel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like a good argument
The author put together an excellent argument about how if the pro life movement really wanted to stop abortions, they would advocate for comprehensive sex ed and access to birth control. Instead they spend their efforts as a movement working on ways to control women's sexuality.
The problem with books like this one is that the only people who are ever going to pick something like this off the shelf are those who already identify as pro-choice. I think the people who would most benefit from reading this are those who consider themselves to be pro-life without realizing that the issue is about much more than abortion; I think that most Americans are actually pro-choice to some degree, whether or not they realize it. This book is about the people who are not, and what will...more
Page's book reads as a bit of a polemic at times, with her (justified) frustration at the pro-life movement seeping through into the prose. The result is a book that can probably do little to shed light on the pro-life movement for pro-lifers, restraining itself instead to an opportunity to preach to the pro-choice choir. Actually, that categorization may be unfair. How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America does significantly more than preach to the choir; it painstakingly details for the reader...more
Nov 23, 2008 Carly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone. seriously.
Interested in having sex? Feel like your sex life is none of the government's damn business? Believe that other people's beliefs have a constitutional obligation to stay out of our legislative tradition? This is a book for you. There is a real war on birth control access in this country and thinking people who live here should be outraged. I am.
I loved this book. Women's reproductive health care is my passion, and I loved Page's voice and narrative style. It was also really interesting because pro-life and pro-choice are always portrayed as divided in the langugage of abortion, but as Page points out, it really is a war of ideas, access to family planning, and control.
Jill Dunlap
Apr 13, 2007 Jill Dunlap rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pro-choicers and pro-lifers
This is a good book - one that pro-lifers should also read to see what their movement is really about. It does a good job of pulling pack the curtain to reveal the whole world of evil that is the pro-life movement. But it's definitely dated now - written in 2004, so limited by the timeliness of her arguments.
A Fantastic. Well-written and well-sourced. I wouldn’t have minded a slight critique of the pro-choice movement (not a critique but she makes it super positive, which I love, but maybe a bit less biased…) She points out what fucking nuts these religious morons are who are anti-choice and also, anti-family.
Amazing, thoroughly researched, and extremely well-written. I'm not sure if there's an updated version of this book, but it thoroughly captures the horrifying enormity of the influence anti-choice groups wielded during the Bush administration and the devastating effects of actions taken based on that agenda.
Poorly argued, poorly written, obnoxiously partisan, and just generally annoying, and I'm the choir she's preaching to. I found Sue Hertz's Caught in the Crossfire, which I read at the same time, to be much more engaging, fair and timely, and it was written twenty years ago.
Compelling. Details how/why the pro-choice movement prevents more abortions than pro-life.
Awesome. Greatly researched and frightening.

Couples nicely with The Purity Myth.
Everyone should read this ASAP. I'll lend you my copy.
“Pro-life”? More like “anti-sex,” “anti-woman” and “anti-human.”

If HOW THE PRO-CHOICE MOVEMENT SAVED AMERICA – the title of Cristina Page’s 2006 exposé of the religious right/pro-life movement’s true agenda – sounds like liberal hyperbole, chances are that Page wrote this book just for you!

While the “pro-life” movement professes to respect “all life,” to the point of holding it sacred, the movement’s actions belie this all-too-common assumption. Since the days of Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers have be...more
I decided to read this book because my girlfriend was reading it for research on a report she was writing about “Women’s Rights in America”. Since many people like to think or assume I'm a feminist I thought this would be a good book to see where exactly I sat at the feminist table.

Although I don’t believe this book answered my questions of am I feminist or not, I can tell you that this book clearly made become more of an advocate for women and their rights. This was an amazing read. It opened...more
Feb 08, 2008 Paige rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who believe that anti-choicers are "pro-life"
Recommended to Paige by: local bookstore
My boyfriend requested that we read this book together, which is why it took so long to finish! I didn't find it to be too dated--it did only come out in 2004, I don't think THAT much has changed in 3 years, and the changes that have happened just go along with the whole theme of the book.

I knew pretty much all the information already, although there were a few things that I'm glad I learned. That said, it would have been a good, fast read if it hadn't been for the boyfriend. It was entertaining...more
Chelce Snider
I really liked this book. It was organized very nicely, and outlined many of the problems with the "pro-life" groups. It was interesting and informative, and if we had read more books like this in college, I might have actually done some of the readings.
Wow...what an intense book. While the book does show its age in some ways (the author refers to pending court decisions or court appointments that have long been decided), the underlying argument is still terrifyingly contemporary. After all, most of those decisions have ended up in the favor of the radical pro-life movement.

As someone who's been following feminist politics for several years now, there was little about the contemporary pro-life and pro-choice movements in this book that was new...more
Oct 05, 2009 Ashley rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: activists, people new to the pro-choice cause
Recommended to Ashley by: NOW
Shelves: women-s-studies
This book is a fine introduction to the pro-choice movement and the negative consequences of a world without Roe. However, the analysis is fairly shallow and if you have spent much time reading about abortion rights it will feel quite repetitive. Not to mention, the book already feels dated. She wrote it during Alito's confirmation and, while that was an important event, the court and political climate has changed substantially since then.

Page's book is well-sourced and a quick read. I'd suggest...more
Gaby Moss
Feb 19, 2008 Gaby Moss is currently reading it
I only read feminist political policy books about abortion/ reproductive rights these days. I mean, duh. Get with the program. I am actually kind of tired of talking about books for a while. Does anyone want to talk about anything else? Maybe we could talk about At the Drive-In. Remember them? They were great. The Mars Volta never quite did it for me, but ATDI...that, my friend, is how you mix interest in "experimental" whatever with totally awesomely retarded heavy metal. I bet kids today don't...more
Liz DeCoster
A good synthesis of the many challenges facing the pro-choice/reproductive rights movement today, and Page does a good job of supporting her thesis that the "War on Abortion" has expanded to include a wide range of women's health issues, including issues like the HPV vaccine and birth control. The book doesn't add much to the existing scholarship on these issues, and even though it's only 5 or 6 years old, enough has changed already that its utility as a current events book is arguable.
Oct 11, 2013 Mrsculpepper rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pro-lifers
I really think anyone who calls themselves pro life should read this book just to be sure they really want to align themselves with the goals of the anti-choicers. Because their agenda goes beyond abortion and their tactics actually increase abortions, and increase the gestational age of the fetus at the time the abortion is performed. crazy as it sounds its actually the policies prefered b the pro-choice movement that reduces the number of abortions. very well researched although slightly dated...more
Feb 04, 2008 Chrissy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: open minded zealots and newbie feminists.
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
This is either a pretty good book or a pretty redundant book, depending on what you're looking for and where you're coming from. Personally, I know a lot about the pro-choice movement and the current threats to reproductive rights, so while it was interesting to read the history of abortion in America, it was also nothing new to me. For the person who doesn't know much about this subject and wishes to learn more, this is a very thorough and well written book.
Whoa! Page is amazing. This book totally gave me a great perspective on both sides of the abortion debate. I find myself with my own informed opinions and not a slave to what I am fed by the limited persectives of news stories and magazine articles. Everyone who wants to understand how the birth control and abortion movements got to where there are today within a political, history, and social context needs to put this book on their must-read list.
Barry Cochran
Even those against abortion should read this.

Especially those against abortion should read this.

Page shows how well-meaning people have been used by the QUOTE pro-lifers UNQUOTE to advance an anti-woman, anti-contraceptive, anti-sex agenda.

Few conservatives would want to live in the post-Roe world Page depicts in her final chapter. If you think you are aligned with the so-called pro-lifers, give this book a chance. Please.
Glenda McCarthy
Very good book, though title is a bit misleading. Offers solid information on how the "pro-life" movement has worked and, sadly, so often succeeded not only in restricting access to abortion but to contraceptives. Indeed, the anti- movement has always been about restricting women's control over their ability to use contraceptives, to control their own bodies and lives ... something we rarely see in the thin reporting on the issue.
While the title is hyperbolic, this is the best account of the religious right's war on birth control that I have ever read. I think the text would have appealed to more people had the title been even remotely related to the content. Also her analysis of the content had a very strong upper-middle class bias. But still, the content makes it an important read for feminists interested in reproductive justice issues.
Page takes on an admirable project here - connecting the dots between the various projects of the pro-life movement to create a picture of a faction obsessed with controlling the sexual behaviors of other people, particularly of women. She's not wrong, but she misses the final leaps to the incredible sexism, racism and classism of this movement intended to protect a traditional, patriarchal power structure.
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